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Let's list good ways to keep 3-4 year-olds busy indoors! - Page 2

post #21 of 36
Wow! What a lot of awesome ideas!

DD's favorite thing to do is "Projects!" Anything she can paint/craft/build by herself keeps her occupied for awhile.

The pre-boxed items like painting ceramic figurines or wooden things or window suncatchers are great because I can open the box and set it in front of her, and she's got the little case of paints and everything all ready to go. For these we love melissa and doug crafts. Other from the box kits we have loved included jewelry making, doll making, coloring stuffed animals, a rock dig, etc.

Projects that I set up for her go over really well to. An example is one day I rolled out a bunch of white polymer clay and gave her cookie cutters. She spent all day making shapes. That night I put little holes through the tops of each shape and baked them. The next day I gave her paints and she painted them all for hours... That day and even the two days after that. I strung string through the tops and then we had Christmas ornaments for her to give everyone this year.

Also, observable science projects have been a big hit. Again, we've had good luck with pre-boxed kits and homemade things. The biggest hit from the pre-boxed kits was rock crystals. But, DD really loved the growing projects she did indoors. She would rush every morning out of bed to check her bean sprouts. LOL But, we also planted a pineapple top, grew onions in our windowsill, took cuttings from philodendrons and purple hearts and started them in water, and srarted a celery plant. We have a fish tank that she loves to watch as well, and for the spring I'm thinking of hatching butterflies. Watching what's happening to these things takes up a lot of time, but if I'm ever in a pinch I can suggest drawing a picture of it, how it's changing, or what she thinks will happen.

Ooh! One last one that has been a lifesaver is fridge magnets! We have states, shapes, and numbers covering the bottom half of our fridge. She plays with these daily for long periods of time.
post #22 of 36

GPTwins: I like your blog! I already stole your bingo chip suncatcher idea - that was a project my 4 yr old really enjoyed. She loved picking out the patterns. Unfortunately, our play room doesn't seem to be getting much sun to light them up. They still look cool though.

 

Cindy

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegan Princess View Post

GPTwins: I like your blog! I already stole your bingo chip suncatcher idea - that was a project my 4 yr old really enjoyed. She loved picking out the patterns. Unfortunately, our play room doesn't seem to be getting much sun to light them up. They still look cool though.

Cindy

Thank you Cindy!! That is great!! I hope you get to see the great color cast they make one day soon, maybe the sun will shine just right at a different time of year! I saw your little one is a rainbow baby. My twins are rainbow babies too. We had a loss at 20 weeks in 07 and then 3 months later were expecting them! That was a very nervous pregnancy!
post #24 of 36

Perhaps we just need to trim our trees - finally. Sheepish.gif

 

Yes, my little one was my miracle baby! I had a chemical pregnancy then a 10 week miscarriage and then went through tons of infertility treatments and finally IVF to have her! Yes indeed - very nervous pregnancy! My first pregnancy I was so blissfully unaware of all that could go wrong!

 

I have to ask - how long did it take you to clean your boys' room before photographing it? Everything was so well put together! Surely it doesn't always look like that?? We have all sorts of blocks and beads and bins of things to glue, stickers, etc. But it takes a lot of work to keep it clean and somewhat organized. I like to be able to let her have free access to everything, even the messy stuff. But she doesn't feel as inspired to keep it in the right bin as I do. Ha.

 

Cindy

post #25 of 36

Oh btw my 4 yr old's name is Makenna - don't find too many of those. :-)

post #26 of 36
My DD is younger (not quite two) but I happened on this thread and really enjoyed reading all the ideas. I needed to cook and had some dry lentils handy, so I thought "what the heck" and poured a bunch in a big bowl, gave her a measuring cup and an empty bowl to see what would happen. Twenty minutes later she was still pouring them through her fingers, and transferring them between the bowls. I think for her birthday I'll put together kits of activities rather than getting toys she will ignore lol. Thank you ladies for the inspiration and amazing ideas!!
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegan Princess View Post

Perhaps we just need to trim our trees - finally. Sheepish.gif


Yes, my little one was my miracle baby! I had a chemical pregnancy then a 10 week miscarriage and then went through tons of infertility treatments and finally IVF to have her! Yes indeed - very nervous pregnancy! My first pregnancy I was so blissfully unaware of all that could go wrong!

I have to ask - how long did it take you to clean your boys' room before photographing it? Everything was so well put together! Surely it doesn't always look like that?? We have all sorts of blocks and beads and bins of things to glue, stickers, etc. But it takes a lot of work to keep it clean and somewhat organized. I like to be able to let her have free access to everything, even the messy stuff. But she doesn't feel as inspired to keep it in the right bin as I do. Ha.

Cindy

definitely a miracle!! Yes, maybe trim the trees!! natural sunlight is so amazing for playtime indoors... and out! hehe

I did not clean the room before photographing it, it isnt ever messy, I trained them to not make big messes 2 years ago when I transformed the room and toys! wink1.gif I have a post on my blog about it too, but this website seems to be back and forth on their policy of blog and pinterest links, they told me it was a-ok and now they are deleting my links. you can email me or look me up on facebook if you want. twinsrock@cfl.rr.com I think my facebook is lined in my profile here, if not look up Kristen Stehli (florida) my hair is red in my profile pic so you know you have the right person.
post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by skycheattraffic View Post

My DD is younger (not quite two) but I happened on this thread and really enjoyed reading all the ideas. I needed to cook and had some dry lentils handy, so I thought "what the heck" and poured a bunch in a big bowl, gave her a measuring cup and an empty bowl to see what would happen. Twenty minutes later she was still pouring them through her fingers, and transferring them between the bowls. I think for her birthday I'll put together kits of activities rather than getting toys she will ignore lol. Thank you ladies for the inspiration and amazing ideas!!

thats a great Montessori activity!! We love messy play and Montessori, and Reggio!! wink1.gif
post #29 of 36

Hiding a toy in another room so he can be busy finding it while I make dinner

 

Sticking stuff in playdough, like beads, sequins, plastic utensils, little people.

post #30 of 36

There are some great ideas here.

My 3.5-year-old son enjoys cutting up paper with scissors, and this can keep him occupied for quite some time.

Also, we save the business reply envelopes that come in junk mail, and he loves putting "stamps" (= stickers) on the corner and putting things inside and sealing them to make "mail."

post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alecia Williams View Post

are you insane i would never let my 3 year old son play or sharpen pins he could get hurt i would rather put him infront of a learning show or listen to music an have him sit by me 


Wow, insane?  Really?  I don't think that's a good measure for insanity.

 

I let my 3yo use the pin cushion while I'm with him too.  I don't really think it's very dangerous.  He doesn't put things in his mouth anymore, and I'm right there watching him.  He's not going to get very hurt by them, they are pins.  So what if he pokes his finger?  He learns to respect the sharp ends.  And he doesn't poke himself anyway, never has -- he's very careful.

 

Maybe the kind of thing that depends on the kid more than the age.

post #32 of 36
What is Hi Ho Cheerios sounds interesting
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbim View Post

What is Hi Ho Cheerios sounds interesting

The board game Hi Ho Cherry O. Here's a link to a description on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00000IWGQ
post #34 of 36
Making a volcano with lava, or just skip the volcano and use a muffin tin for many little experiments. Add food coloring, vinegar and baking soda. You can also add dish detergent, but that may end up in the eyes of some little ones.

By the way our volcano is just a cone of construction paper with a small container inside of it to hold the ingredients. A more elaborate one could surely be made if desired (playdough, clay, etc). I place it on a cookie sheet to catch the "lava". If you try the muffin tin, place that on a cookie sheet also, to catch the overflow.

I am always amazed at how easy the clean up is to this messy project. I feel good knowing I am using vinegar and baking soda to 'clean' up also.
post #35 of 36
What a great thread! I have an active four-year-old and I'll definitely be using some of these ideas.
post #36 of 36
Today we made 'homemade slime', easy as can be. Cornstarch, not Borax though for this age group. Supervision too (in case child tries to eat it).
It is also known as Flubber. Recipes/ formulas can be found online, using few ingredients.
Edited by Asiago - 3/18/14 at 4:26pm
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